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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Murray   27 November [1877]1

50, Albemarle St. | W.

Novr 27

My Dear Sir

I have much pleasure in enclosing my cheque for Two Hundred Guineas, for two Editions now just exhausted of your two Volumes

Descent of Man 1000 copies2

Forms of Flowers 1250 "3

Of the last I have 50 copies remaining, sufficient to supply the Trade sale demand but none of the Cross Fertilizations wch must be reprinted at your convenience4

Permit me to congratulate you on your Cambridge Honors5

I remain My Dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | John Murray

Charles Darwin Esqr

CD annotations

Top of letter: ‘Not entered in the proper place’ red crayon
End of letter:
‘Print off Descent of Man— Please inform me
Stereotype orchids
Break up type of Forms of Flowers
{ Cross & Self-Fert. [ink on]
pag. & will set to work
Also Edition of Origin 2000 copies
{ Copy of Forms of Flowers in


The year is established by the reference to CD’s honorary LLD (see n. 5, below).
Murray had reprinted 1000 copies of Descent 2d ed. in 1877 (letter from R. F. Cooke, 5 January 1877); this was the final, definitive text (Freeman 1977).
Forms of flowers was published in July 1877 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
Cross and self fertilisation was first published in 1876. Murray, like other publishers, held a ‘sale dinner’ in November, to which the principal booksellers were invited (J. Murray 1908–9, p. 540). A second edition of Cross and self fertilisation appeared in 1878.
CD had been awarded an honorary LLD degree at Cambridge on 17 November 1877 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
CD’s annotations are notes for his letter to Murray of 28 November 1877.


Cross and self fertilisation: The effects of cross and self fertilisation in the vegetable kingdom. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1876.

Descent 2d ed.: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition. London: John Murray. 1874.

Forms of flowers: The different forms of flowers on plants of the same species. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1877.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

Murray, John. 1908–9. Darwin and his publisher. Science Progress in the Twentieth Century 3: 537–42.


Sends CD his share of profits on Descent and Forms of flowers.

Wants to reprint Cross and self-fertilisation because supply of copies is entirely exhausted.

Congratulates CD on his Cambridge honour [LL.D.].

Letter details

Letter no.
John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50
Source of text
DAR 171: 495
Physical description
2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11255,” accessed on 28 November 2021,